Let’s face it, we all ignore and decline calls from individuals we do not know or recognize. Often, these calls are from companies soliciting for business; however, when the same number calls time and time again, it may be evident that a debt collector may be trying to get in touch with an individual who is behind on their bills.
This can be a very emotional and overwhelming experience, as dealing with debt is already a stressful situation. Add to it the constant calls from creditors and debt collectors, and it can feel like an impossible level of stress to navigate.
While it may seem like it is the job of a debt collector to call debtors to pay off their debts, this is true only when it is done by the law. Debt collectors may not harass debtors by calling too often, sending harassing text messages, using obscene or profane language or making threats. If these or other similar conduct occurs, individuals can take legal action to end this harassment.
Stopping debt collector harassment
The first step you could take to stop debt collector harassment is to write the debt collector, requesting that they stop calling. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), they are required to follow this written request for no contact. If they fail to do so, you can report them to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
When filing a complaint with the FTC, it is important to provide any and all documentation that illustrates the harassment and their failure to comply with the written request to stop contact. Another option would be filing a complaint with the state agency that deals with creditor harassment. Because debt collectors are focused on their own liability, they might be willing to cancel your debt if the complaint is withdrawn.
Finally, if the debt collector’s harassment continues, you have the right to sue the debt collection agency for harassment. Elevating it to this level should occur when the harassment is extreme rather than an annoyance.
Ending creditor harassment can be a huge stress reliever when it comes to addressing larger financial problems, such as filing for bankruptcy. In these matters, it is important to understand your rights and what steps you can take to navigate debt problems and reach the goal of debt relief.